When Overwhelm Takes Control

When Overwhelm Takes Control…3 Tips for Staying in the Moment.

We have all been there.  A to-do list.  A to-don’t list.  A grocery list.  A list of people to get back to.  Work, sleep, and make dinner.  Schedule time to work out and take care of yourself?  No, we don’t have time for that.  Screech.  Say what?

When overwhelm takes control, how do you fight back?  

The busyness of life goes on daily.  Mindless scrolling on your device.  Trying to get through the day depending on what that looks like.  Your brain saying “There’s not enough time for x, y, z.”  Netflix saying “Hey girl, you have time for the next episode of your favorite show so you can unwind.”  Depending on your age, and what you say out loud, your ads start showing up like they are reading your mind.  Hint: they are reading what you say in front of all your devices as well as your search history.

You start to think you need to lose weight, get in shape, start something new, get a food delivery service so you’ll actually make a meal, but then you remember you hate cooking so what good does that do?  Anyway, you go on Pinterest and try a few recipes, but that’s just not it.  You, my friend, are in overwhelm.

A problem with social media overwhelm, not just life overwhelm, is that you will also start to compare yourself to what these folk have accomplished in your feed, and trust me, that is a bad idea.  I personally have been in the room with people saying they own x, y, and z car, have gone on this trip and that and the bank is one step away from taking back their material possessions and kicking them out on the street.

While having a conversation with a friend (one I have never met in person) I can safely say that I love social media for the reason of connection.  I have made so many “friends” through the platforms I use.  I absolutely love connecting with people from around the world for this very reason.  But the thing is this, you have to learn how to have boundaries with what you want shown in your feed, just like what you want to show up in your head.  She was telling me she hit the hide or x button on all these weight loss ads because she was tired of being put in a box.  I respect that.

So based off our conversations, let’s keep overwhelm down with these tips.

  1. Stop mindlessly scrolling on social media.  X out the ads you don’t want to see.  Then if some kind of the same thing is running through your mind, make a list of what you actually want to say yes to in your life instead.  Mine would be get outside more, walk, exercise and get back to yoga.  If you know me, you know I am mostly outside on my back porch daily anyway, rain or shine, freezing weather or not, with a blanket, doing a form of personal “Sisu”.  Sisu is a Finnish word, and I absolutely loved this book, The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu, and told almost everyone about it this past year.  So read it and get outside.
  2. Set up personal boundaries.  Why do we allow everyone and their mother to contact us night and day?  Bing, boop, buzz.  Notifications.  Turn them off.  All of them.  Set up a “Sorry I can’t talk right now.” text to ding someone if needed.  Tell your family.  I am working from this time to this…or from the time I get up, until lunch, I will not be available.  I will check my message for 5 minutes at noon, but then I won’t be available again until 4p.m.  Working can mean many things.  I am writing my great novel, or I am working on myself.  I am working on my meditation, or I am working on not needing technology so much.  You don’t necessarily have to define that for them.
  3. Focus on things within your control.  If you know me, you know I am big on gratitude.  Think of the 3-5 things in your life you are grateful for as soon as you wake up.  Shitty thoughts consuming you and it becomes difficult?  Even more of a reason to challenge those thoughts with gratitude.  MOST of your thoughts are simply not true about yourself or the situation you are in, and you know this.  That is spinning.  Stop the spinning and start the compartmentalizing.  Gratitude check.  Then reality check.  What have you eaten today? Did you journal or meditate? Did you get outside?  Did you have a hot beverage?  Sheldon approves.  Did you listen to uplifting music?  I am very old school and put on a good drum solo from my friends Rusted Root.  What have you let control you instead of the other way around?

Thoughts produce the emotions we feel, and those thoughts spin out of control into overwhelm.  The next time you feel this happening, give yourself a good reality check.  Write down the things you absolutely know help.  Take back your power my friends.

Since it’s been a minute, here are a few more things to read on this:



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